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November 13,2017

What Is an Electrical Short?

Electrical shorts are common but can be scary for homeowners to experience. Maybe you were in the middle of microwaving dinner or using a blow dryer to style your hair before work, and the appliance just suddenly stopped working. While this kind of electrical issue can be frustrating to deal with, it’s also important to understand the potential danger surrounding such an event. The experienced electricians at Mr. Electric of Fort Worth provide premium commercial and residential electrical repair service for local North Texas area property owners. We understand how essential it is for homeowners and businesses to be aware of electrical issues and their hazards. We want you to be informed as well. Here is a short guide that can explain what an electrical short is and how you can prevent its occurrence in the future.

What Is an Electrical Short?

Under optimal conditions, electricity will flow through a circuit into the devices plugged into the system. The amount of electricity received is steady and well regulated to avoid damage to the circuit and the device. Yet, there are times when a "hot wire" makes contact with a ground wire in an appliance or outlet. This will mistakenly complete the circuit, causing what is called an "electrical short" or "short circuit." This means that excessive energy has made its way into the circuit. The electrical system itself is often saved by the circuit breaker or a blown fuse. However, the electrical short can cause major damage to electronics and may even spark a fire.

Common Causes of an Electrical Short

Various situations can cause electrical shorts, but all scenarios involve a hot wire making contact with a neutral wire or a ground wire. This can concur because of loose wiring or incorrect installation. It can also happen when the wire’s insulation has become damaged or weakened from age or pest control issues. Shorts can also result from the use of outdated wiring materials like aluminum, which can overheat more easily than modern copper wiring.

Signs of an Electrical Short

If an electrical short occurs when using a device, the event will be more obvious. However, there are also times when an electrical short might occur and remains unknown to the owner. For this reason, it’s important to know the warning signs:

  • Warm spots on the wall.
  • Burn smells.
  • Burn marks or discoloration in the area around an outlet.
  • Your circuit breaker is tripping all the time.
  • Visible, exposed wiring.

If you notice one or more of these issues, then you must call an electrician right away to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your property and your loved ones.

Do You Need an Electrical Repair Service in the Fort Worth, TX Area?

Is it time for you to invest in a professional electrical repair service? If so, you can get the quality help you need right away by calling the team at Mr. Electric of Fort Worth. Our reliable local electricians are always ready to improve the safety and efficiency of our client’s electrical systems. Contact our office for more information about our offerings or to schedule an upcoming appointment with experienced electricians in Fort Worth, Texas, or a surrounding DFW area community.